Tag Archives: time management

Why do today what you can do tomorrow? (Procrastination)

β€œNever put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” ― Mark Twain

Procrastination – “…the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of lower priority, or doing something from which one derives enjoyment, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time.”

Yep, almost all of us do it from time to time.

It could be that homework assignment you should have started a month ago, the room you haven’t tided up since you moved to your apartment or The workout plan you promised you will start the next week…

Almost all of us have some “high priority” things we know we “have to” but avoid doing it “now” πŸ™‚

We build a to-do list, knowing that some of the items will never get done. they will keep nibbling at our conscience, but we will never find the time to do them.

This of course leads to a feeling of dissatisfaction. “why can’t I get it done?”.

so… why does it happen?

Most of us enjoy setting a list of Goals\Tasks. This gives us a feeling of satisfaction from accomplishments and progress.

But… we have limited resources… time…

So, we end up with a big list which needs priorities. More enjoyable stuff will take less time due to their nature, causing less enjoyable stuff to be postponed. This is the basic human nature.

Cleaning up the list is not a simple task πŸ™‚

Same as in any addiction, the first step is to admit we are procrastinating. It is not a definition of what we are but of what we are doing. it is not a genetic issue but rather a learned behavior, so as any other habit we can learn to avoid it.

My tips would be:

  • Don’t define goals which are not reasonable. You should either give it sufficient time to begin with or admit it cannot be done.

 

  • When something can be done right now, just do it. It’s amazing how a simple task can grow branches when it gets delayed.

 

  • Set a dedicated slot in your Weekly\Daily routine for cleaning up your list of tasks. figuring how much time you ACTUALLY have will help you in defining what you really can and can’t do.

 

  • When something gets delayed for a very long time, it’s probably time to say goodbye, Unless it got new priorities. the fact it was not prioritized till now means it should probably be left alone.

 

Some interesting reads:

 

Good and Bad Procrastination

How Seinfeld’s productivity secret fixed my procrastination problem

An Algorithm for Beating Procrastination